South Dakota State (1-2) vs. Marshall (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 17, 2:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mack Sports Complex (5,124) -- Hempstead, New York. Television: None. Home Record: SDSU 1-0, Marshall 1-0. Away Record: SDSU 1-0, Marshall 0-1. Neutral Record: SDSU 0-1, Marshall 1-0. Conference Record: SDSU 0-0, Marshall 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The South Dakota State Jackrabbits and the Marshall Thundering Herd each continue a stretch of three games in three days at the Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead, New York as part of the 2K Sports Classic.
South Dakota State has challenged itself with a difficult schedule to start the season. It started with a trip to Alabama where it fought hard but lost, 70-67. The Jackrabbits followed that up with a 78-71 win at home over Tennessee State before traveling to the Empire State for this event where they dropped their first game to Hofstra on a late three-pointer, 66-63.
Marshall opened its first game of the Classic on Friday with an 80-58 win over the University of the District of Columbia. The win has the Herd at 2-1 after winning at home against Longwood in the opener (81-47) and losing on the road to Villanova, 80-68.
This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two schools in men's basketball.
After trailing for most of the first half against Hofstra, South Dakota State led for the majority of the second half, but the Pride hung around and eventually delivered the crushing blow in the waning seconds to drop the Jackrabbits to 1-2 on the young season. It was an uncharacteristically poor shooting night, as they hit 42.3 percent of their field goal attempts, including just 5-of-20 from beyond the arc. Despite their struggles, Nate Wolters continued to show why he's one of the top players in the nation as he logged 25 points and 10 rebounds. Wolters' numbers through three games are nothing short of spectacular (25.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.0 apg, .568 FG percentage). Brayden Carlson scored 12 points, but no other Jackrabbit tallied double figures in points. In was a rough night for Jordan Dykstra (2-of-8, seven points), but he is averaging 13.7 ppg for the season.
Marshall actually played a much closer game than it wanted to against UDC, as it found itself down 48-42 with 15 minutes left in the second half, but from there it got hot, ending the game on a 38-10 run to pull away. The Herd ended the game shooting an impressive 48.5 percent from the field, but they made just 3-of-15 three-pointers, which is a departure from their season percentage of .375. For the first time in his career, senior forward Dennis Tinnon came off the bench, but he made the most of the experience by tallying 17 points and 12 rebounds. DeAndre Kane also put together an impressive game with 16 points and nine assists, while Elijah Pittman (14 points) had a perfect night shooting (5-of-5 from the field, 3-of-3 from the line). Nigel Spikes scored just eight points, but did so on 4-of-5 shooting while also grabbing 12 rebounds and coming up with a career-high four blocks. D.D. Scarver, who entered the game as the team's leading scorer (15.7 ppg), finished with just seven points.
South Dakota State figures to be a force in the Summit League this year, but it has shown that despite the presence of Wolters, it has difficultly matching up with the size and speed of higher-level programs. Marshall is a deep team with plenty of veteran talent. Expect the Herd to prevail in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Marshall 75, South Dakota State 68
11/17 10:35:13 ET